Job Description Template: Department Head, Legal Procurement

Legal procurement, the department or corporate function responsible for acquiring goods and services, is rapidly gaining importance. In many corporations legal services used to be exempt from the intense cost scrutiny other business units and functions have been facing for years.

Now most companies with significant legal spend regularly involve procurement in the evaluation and selection of legal services providers. Among the first industries to embrace legal procurement were highly regulated industries such as pharmaceutical companies and financial services institutions as well as energy companies and utilities.

The Buying Legal Council 2016 survey identified the following top five reasons companies bring in Legal Procurement:

  1. help the legal department manage spend
  2. introduce a more effective way to negotiate
  3. initiate more efficient procurement process management
  4. measure best value
  5. achieve a more objective comparison of legal services providers

So what responsibilities, skills, and qualifications should the leader of a legal procurement department have? Together with executive recruiter Graham Locklear we developed this job description template. We invite you to use it when you select your own Legal Procurement professionals.


The goal of this position is to ensure that your organization receives the best possible return on investment for your legal spend. This position will help manage the development and implementation of strategies that focus on obtaining the highest quality legal representation and services, while minimizing costs and meeting goals associated with budget targets. With direct lines to senior leadership, your Head of Legal Procurement will actively engage and manage legal vendors with the common goal of securing value, optimizing efficiency, and managing the risk associated with the purchase of legal services.


Sourcing Strategy

  • Identify qualified and appropriate suppliers (law firms, other legal services providers, software companies, consultants, and other vendors)
  • Create and lead the selection process, using creative bid structures if required to achieve optimal offers (reverse auctions, etc.)
  • Negotiate price, terms & conditions, and framework agreements
  • Approve/review adjustments and addendums to agreements that need to be changed due to variables throughout engagement

Supplier Relationship Management

  • Enable a Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) model that supports collaboration, leverage, internal and external change
  • Map and manage internal relationships (company secretary, human resources, audit and legal contacts) that support the initiatives and opportunities identified
  • Build and maintain relationships with legal services providers (law firm and non-law firm), legal software companies, consultants, and other vendors
  • Develop a strategy to optimize the supplier base for the organization
  • Leverage relationships during negotiations and throughout engagement
  • Create grading system (scorecard) for suppliers agreed to by in-house counsel and external firms for periodic measurement
  • Create and oversee the selection process of outside counsel and other suppliers balancing merit, industry experience, and diversity and inclusion principles
  • Assure the legal department and all vendors are in compliance and without conflict

Legal Spend Management

  • Partner with general counsel, chief financial officer, and/or chief legal operations officer to create budget and spend/cost-savings goals for legal spend, supporting total cost of ownership (TCO), net present value (NVP), and return on investment (ROI) metrics
  • Develop strategies and initiatives to achieve cost-savings goals and identify opportunities to further efficiency
  • Develop performance metrics that support spend and performance measures
  • Report monthly/quarterly/yearly the status of legal spend, cost savings and budget tracking
  • Use data to create predictive cost modeling tools and leverage in new matter negotiations
  • Design and model alternative fee arrangements (AFAs)
  • Review AFA proposals and lead negotiations to finalize agreements

Knowledge Management and Market Intelligence

  • Lead initiative to compile, organize, and analyze fee data to quantify ROI of outside counsel engagements
  • Develop and implement a quality review program with key external counsel, utilizing data analytics and key performance indicators
  • Gather competitive intelligence through general research, legal spend surveys, and other approved publications
  • Stay abreast of the newest legal technology and trends in legal industry
  • Build and maintain relationships with key players in the legal field
  • Develop and implement a periodic market intelligence report to inform senior leadership
  • Create a 3 to 5-year category strategy that provides agility to market changes and enables change effectively in line with market intelligence, including business process outsourcing (BPO), artificial intelligence (AI), stakeholder mapping, and spend and cost analysis (TCO)

Members of the Buying Legal Council will be able to to download the Job Description Template. Click here